Curbside Outtake: 1979 -1985(?) Oldsmobile Toronado – Can Someone Muster Some Enthusiasm, Please?

Pity the poor Toronado. It tried to be a groundbreaker in 1966, what with its front wheel drive and bold styling. Yeah, I was impressed as a twelve year old. What kid wouldn’t be? But it was a dead end, as well as a sales dud. And within a couple of years I was over it, thanks to its once-crisp styling being dulled down into brougham caricature. Sad.

And the Toronado just sort of bounced along with mediocre styling and nothing compelling mechanically for decades. It came to be the car for those older guys who remembered the thrill of an early Rocket 88 or such as they tooled their Toro down to the coffee shop. I’m not denigrating the Toronado or the guys who bought them, but seeing one of these invariably makes me feel like it was an unfulfilled car from the get-go; like a kid with a lot of promise that never amounts to much of anything.

It looks like a store-brand/generic Eldorado; like it was disguised for an insurance ad or such. The Riviera, although it could be garish, never suffered from that problem; one always knew what it was.

I have no idea what year it is. Is there any discernible difference? I mean to anyone other than a Toro-savant?

Probably some change in the texture of the vinyl half top, or something meaningful like that.

And let’s just let the sleeping dogs under the hood lie. It’s better that way.

It’s nice to know someone really cares about their Toronado.

Don’t get me wrong; it’s a handsome car, in its genre and time frame. And I appreciate what nice shape this one is in, considering it’s forced to live out its days in an outdoor apartment parking lot. But I just can’t work up any enthusiasm. I’ll leave that to some of you. I have faith in you.